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Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday…Greg Luzinski

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Greg Luzinski

At 6’1′ and 255 pounds, Luzinski was a well-liked member of the Phillies and a feared slugger who could also hit for average despite striking out frequently. While he was a mediocre defensive left fielder, he hit .300 or better for 3 consecutive seasons during the prime of his career, and was a career .276 hitter with 307 home runs and 1,128 RBIs. He was selected an All-Star between 1975 and 1978, hitting a home run off Jim Palmer in 1977 and being the top vote-getter for the National League in 1978. He was also MVP runner up in 1975 (when he led the National League in RBIs with 120) and 1977, when he posted career highs in batting average (.309), home runs (39) and RBIs (130).

He hit safely in every game and had at least one home run in each of the 3 National League Championship Series played by the Phillies from 1976 to 1978, though Philadelphia did not advance to the World Series those years. In 1980, he suffered a major slump with injuries in the regular season, batting just .228 with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs in 106 games, but came back with 2 game-winning hits in the 1980 National League Championship Series: a two-out two-run home run in the bottom of the 6th inning in Game 1 (the only home run hit in the entire championship series) and a pinch-hit double in the top of the 10th in Game 4, as Philadelphia beat Houston in five games to finally make the World Series, where they defeated the Kansas City Royals to take the title. Those hits against Houston were perhaps the biggest hits of his career, and Luzinski once held the consecutive game hitting streak record for a Championship Series with 13.

He joined the Chicago White Sox the next season, and became one of the top sluggers and designated hitters in the American League. With the White Sox, he was chosen the Designated Hitter of the Year for 1981 and also in 1983, the season when he set a then record for most home runs in a season by a designated hitter with 32, and thrice hit the roof of the old Comiskey Park in Chicago. Luzinski hit five home runs on five consecutive games, a franchise mark, which has since been tied by Ron Kittle, Frank Thomas (Twice), Carlos Lee, and Paul Konerko. Luzinski also hit grand slams in two consecutive games in 1984. Luzinski became a free agent at the end of the 1984 season but chose to retire on February 4, 1985.
Smallthoughts: Old school Tuesday salutes Greg Luzinski.
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MLB debut
September 9, 1970 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 24, 1984 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
Batting average .276
Home runs 307
Runs batted in 1,128
Teams
Career highlights and awards
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